About MMG

What is MMG?

Massachusetts Men’s Gathering (MMG) is a participant-organized and participant-led weekend that happens twice a year at a year-round camp/retreat center. Like similar format retreats throughout New England and several other states, MMG does not hire “experts” to run workshops or provide entertainment but trusts in the abilities of whoever shows up!

The MMG Organizing Committee (OC) plans and sustains the framework for the spring and fall weekends but not the content. Each participant brings their piece, their truth, into the framework to enrich the content. Whether we offer a workshop, talk over coffee for hours with a new-found kindred spirit, or explore the peaceful country setting, we are MMG.

For thirty-five years now, men have been using the wide-open format of the weekend to take chances and be good to themselves—by leading a workshop, receiving applause during a talent show, sleeping incredibly late, playing Frisbee or Scrabble, hiking around the pond, talking around a campfire, pitching in to help with meals…


The Participants

We who gather for the Massachusetts Men’s Gathering are, in some ways, a very diverse group: we come from both urban and rural Massachusetts, as well as from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Canada.

We are happily married husbands, widowers, men still smarting from divorce, gay men, gay couples, and confirmed bachelors. We are lawyers, carpenters, software engineers, therapists, graphic designers, professional entertainers, healthcare workers, and students. We are retired, unemployed, and thrilled to get away for 48 hours from the pressures of our stressful lives. Most MMG men are middle-aged, with some guys in their 20s and some retired. The minimum age is 18. We encourage father-son pairs.

MMG is inclusive of all men, regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion.

Group photo.


MMG is a spin-off of Mainely Men, a semi-annual men’s gathering on Lake Cobbosseecontee in Maine that could no longer accommodate all the out-of-staters who wished to attend. With Mainely Men’s seed money and format, we continue to grow and evolve. We’re proud to have been able to follow the example of our Maine brothers by offering seed money and advice to help other men’s events get started in New England.

The first Mass Men’s Gatherings were held at the YMCA Camp Becket in the Berkshires. As needs changed, we tried out a few camps, including one (Awosting) that was not in Massachusetts. More recently, MMG spent about ten years at the Barton Center in North Oxford, MA, and in 2010, the MMG membership voted to move 3 miles deeper into the wilderness at Camp Elliott Joslin in Charlton, MA. Participants agree that MMG is not so much a particular physical location as a welcoming spirit and state of mind. MMG operates best in a location where we have exclusive and private use of the facilities and ample space to hold workshops. MMG is all about creating a safe and sacred space for our weekends. Attendance at early MMGs was deliberately capped at 100, although one time it reached 120. Recently, attendance has ranged from 45 to over 50 men. In June 2023, we moved to Hi-Rock Camp in Mount Washington, MA. We will celebrate our next gathering by returning to The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, Inc., a privately owned camp in suburban North Oxford, MA. Located on the site of the birthplace of American Red Cross co-founder Clara Barton and overlooking a country pond, this conference center has heated sleeping spaces, including winterized cabins with bathrooms in all quarters. Grounds include tennis and basketball courts, athletic fields, and hiking trails on 200 acres of land. Please note that the Barton Center for Diabetes Education is smoke-free.

In November 2012, the organization was incorporated as a non-profit, Massachusetts Men’s Gathering, Inc., and in 2013, it became a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity.